In case you ever wondered, “what exactly are UI and UX?”, this blog will put your thoughts to rest. These two terminologies are the most frequently used words in the software industry and yet people often confuse these words with each other. It is interesting to note that UI and UX are used in separate contexts but in similar technical situations.
As a standard definition, User Interface or UI can be defined as anything from a touch screen, keyboards, buttons to icons, etc., that enables users to interact with a digital product or service. Whereas UX or user experience, like the name suggests, is the customer experience the user has when they interact with the above-mentioned products and services. This is why it is common for people to use these terms interchangeably.
This blog will offer to give a comprehensive view of UI/UX development and encourage you to understand the similarities and differences between them. We will dig deeper into questions such as what are UX and UI in the first place and how do UX and UI design work together. By the end of this, you will be able to learn exactly what these terms mean and explore the nuances between the two.
What is UI or User Interface Design?
In basic terms, UI refers to the usability of the elements using which users interact with products or services. UI emphasizes the visual interface elements such as menus, images, colors, typography, etc. It transforms wireframes into GUI or Graphic User Interface. UI is more tangible as it focuses on interfaces and is purely related to user interaction design. It is the UI designer’s job to optimize the visual design and create aesthetically pleasing UI for users.
For example, UI design is a digital practice that deals with all the interactive elements including buttons, icons, etc. With UI design, the objective is to visually guide the user through a service or product’s interface. In other words, service is facilitated in such a way that users don’t have to think too much! The UI designer ensures that the visual elements are aesthetically pleasing and also consistent in every way.
*What is UX or User Experience Design? *
UX design is the process that is related to the conceptual aspects of product design and services. If UI deals with tangible elements, UX is concerned with quite the opposite. It handles the emotional experience a user has with the specific product or service. Therefore, it deals with the overall experience of using a product rather than the practical usability of the product itself.
If a customer has an objective, then UX design facilitates the means to achieve this end goal. Therefore, to design a product, the UX designer has to be at the top of his game to offer ease of use and an optimal user experience. However, UX can be negative and neutral as well. It is imperative to conduct frequent quality assurance tests to ensure that UX design contributes to an enhanced customer experience.
UI Vs UX: Similarities and Differences
When comparing these two processes, it is important to keep in mind that both UI and UX are frequently redefined. It all depends on the product that is being designed and there is always a consistent shift that occurs in the definitions as we move forward in the digital space. Having said that it is also crucial to understand that both UI and UX are not in competition with each other. Instead, they complement each other in many ways.
UI and UX co-exist in the most functional way and overlap each other while sharing a common end goal: to create a formidable product. This is why most UI/UX experts claim that there is no difference between them as they are incomparable. UI acts as a bridge through which the user travels and UX is the feeling or emotions that are attached to the journey.
While UI is focused on the product itself, UX deals with the holistic journey through the product. Therefore they go hand in hand and not against each other. In simple terms, one doesn’t exist without the other. They both encompass separate roles with separate processes. Both are deeply related but yet very different in nature. Without great UX, even the most efficiently developed UI will cause a fault in user experience. So it is very vital to understand your target audience and uncover their requirements and interests.
Now that we have established the roles of good UI and UX, we hope you are now familiar with the nuanced differences and similarities between the two. One of the main similarities is that both keep the user in mind all the time. This way, UX and UI may share a variety of inter-related processes, which is exactly why people use them incorrectly and interchangeably.